Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Kansas City, Here We Come

My family with the Young's, somewhere along the 
the Alcan Highway.  Look how dirty our vehicles are. 
We left Alaska in 1973 and headed for Missouri. We were driving the same car down the highway that we had driven up four years earlier. However, this time it was summer. No snow, just a whole lot of gravel and dirt. Traveling with us were our friends the Young’s. Their son Chris was my age and he had two younger sisters. Just the opposite of our family of two boys and a girl. Some of the Young’s now live in Illinois, at least Chris and his family do, and his parents are in California. We all still keep in touch on Facebook. The trip down the AlCan would end up taking almost two weeks.

This was an exciting trip because we were going through Canada in the summer and the flowers there were so beautiful.  I remember thinking how clean it was.  There seemed to be no litter, anywhere. We had a brief stop in Calgary to visit with a "Hatch" family, that we knew from our congregational church in Anchorage. 

One of the most exciting things about the trip was the opportunity to go through Rapid City, South Dakota, where I was born.  I had not been there since I was a baby so it was fun to see the town of my birth as a teenager.

Google Earth photo of the corner I stood on when
I was 16, when it was the hospital where I was born. 

See previous blog for that pic.
We visited the hospital where I was born sixteen years before.  I wrote a little bit about this and had a picture in an earlier blog Honeymoon High Jinks.  As I mentioned there, it is no longer a hospital but is now an apartment complex.  

When you think of Rapid City, you think of Mount Rushmore and of course, we took time to go and see it for ourselves. Until you actually see it in person, you can't believe the enormity.  How did they do it? It almost seems to be an impossible endeavor but there it was, and it was magnificent! Below is a picture of us standing in front of the Presidents.  My brother Kevin looked so cool in his shades. It was a beautiful day to visit and one I won’t forget.   We also visited Yellowstone during this trip and saw Old Faithful

We had been in Alaska for four and a half years, so this was a hard move to make. We had lots of friends, some who we would never see again. We were going to a new place, where I would start high school, and we would not know a soul. Unlike schools on military bases, we would now be in a public school, where most of the kids grew up together. We would be deemed outsiders. But one thing you learn, as a Military Brat, is how to go up and introduce yourself to new people.  That was so important, when moving from place to place.  The kids at my school were very welcoming.  But it was still a scary time.

Today's Terri's Tidbit:  I discovered a really cool website that is great for genealogy but also has so many other possible uses.  It is the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).   DPLA is a platform or a hub for many different resources bringing them altogether for easy access.  I have already found many references to things I have talked about in other blogs.  One was the Wilson County Tobacco Festival in the previous blog, Southern Pines Teen Shot in Hunting Mishap. The DPLA website has a bunch of pictures from that event, dating back to the 1940's.  It was fun seeing that Festival captured in time through those photos.  Some other things I found were old postcards of different towns that I have referred to. I found an old card with the Southern Pines train depot here, and this is what it looked like several years ago. (Please pardon the car mirror!)

There is a tab on the DPLA Homepage that says "Map" and if you go to the state you want, it will bring up all the info they have on their platform for that particular area.  This site has some terrific info but beware, it can be addictive!  

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